By: Allison Smith, junior- Agribusiness Management

My name is Allison Smith. I’m currently a junior Agribusiness Management major with a minor in Food and Bio-Innovation. My major focuses on the application of business principles and how to execute them in relation to agricultural problems and opportunities. I have always had passion for the food industry, so being able to spend everyday learning about its operation is something that I really enjoy.

Until this past summer, I wanted nothing to do with farming. I wanted to always be the person behind the scenes and on the computer, but not out in the field. This past summer, I was able to work with an Agribusiness non-profit in India and specifically helped contribute to a farmer’s co-operative that they help manage. It was an eye-opening experience. It made me realize if I was going to be effective in my future career I needed to truly understand the agricultural supply chain process and the meaning of hard work. It’s my belief that if I could do this, I could become a more effective leader and worker with my firsthand knowledge and understanding of production.

The experience that I’ve already gained through this internship with the Student Farm is invaluable. Currently, it’s March, but I’m able to say that I’ve been trained on pesticides, how to do direct seeding, and have experience with the Student Farm’s financials. Learning how to do direct seeding gave me a lot of confidence and helped me develop my communication skills. It was a great experience, and I hope that in the future I can help teach others this skill again. I was given the opportunity to input CSA data, and the task of cleaning up the 2016 and 2017 sales data, and then analyzing it to make a 2018 price list. This has given me the ability to understand how the farm keeps records, learn about the fluctuating price discrepancies, and about which crops are the most valuable. I found a lot of data to be very surprising.

Summer 2018’s new crop of interns clearing weeds and rocks from the raised beds. Photo: Allison Smith

Becoming an intern at first was a nerve racking experience, as there were a lot of other people with more experience than me, but I’ve taken this challenge head on. I’m looking forward to learning more greenhouse growing techniques, getting more experience in the fields, and being able to better understand the business side of a farm. I’m very much looking forward to transplanting my brassica babies and eventually selling them. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this internship has in store for me!

Our new Student Farm interns learning to read a seed catalog. Photo: Allison Smith

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